Diary of Charles Francis Adams, volume 7

Guide to Editorial Apparatus

Monday. 13th.

June. 1836. Sunday. 12th.<a xmlns="http://www.tei-c.org/ns/1.0" href="#DCA07d003n1" class="note" id="DCA07d003n1a">1</a> CFA


June. 1836. Sunday. 12th. CFA
June. 1836. Sunday. 12th.1

After a lapse of six weeks during which I have passed over two thousand miles of this Continent I resume my Diary record. It may well be doubted whether I shall succeed at all in filling up this long void, and if I do whether I shall do justice to what I have seen.2 It always must happen to Journals of this description and is a necessary evil attending them that it becomes more difficult to keep them in the precise ratio that events of interest to record accumulate upon the writer. As it is I must do the best I can and waste no further moments in speculation.

This day was fine. I attended divine service all day and heard Mr. Francis preach.3 1 Corinthians 13. 12. “For now we see through a glass darkly; but then face to face.” There was nothing peculiar in this discourse but the explanation of the text which is somewhat different from that given a little while ago by Mr. Frothingham.4 Mr. Francis said that owing to the poverty of the material which was used as glass at the time of writing this, people might be said to see darkly, whereas the other gentleman considered the words of the English text as a mistranslation, and maintained that the true ones should be, we see as in a mirror darkly, the substances then used as reflectors being very imperfect. The rest of the paragraph, it must be admitted, leans to the latter construction, and I believe it is to be found in Luther’s bible. It is so in the French translation of Martin which I have.5 After service, walk with Mr. Walsh who afterwards dined with me.6 Afternoon, a discourse from Isaiah 44. 20. “He feedeth on ashes: a deceived heart hath turned him aside, that he cannot deliver his soul, nor say, Is there not a lie in my right hand?” I could not keep my attention fixed. Indeed Mr. Francis is not one of my favorites. His talk is Yankee and his voice sawlike. He is nevertheless a thinker and writer well esteemed.

Afternoon, a sermon of Dr. Barrow.7 Hebrews 3. 12. “Take heed, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief.” The 2subject, infidelity which he considers, first as a sinful distemper of the heart, and then urges the duty of avoiding it. Perhaps one of the best discourses in Dr. Barrow’s collection. I read it attentively and, I hope, profitably.

In the evening, I went with my Wife to Gorham Brooks’, there to see Mr. Shepherd who is now here. There were also one of Mrs. Brooks’ aunts, Mrs. Bacon with her husband and son. We talked until ten and then home. Mrs. Brooks wishes much to go with us.8


The following entries through 31 Aug. 1837 derive from the volume of his diaries which Charles Francis Adams designated as No. 9 (Adams Papers serial listing: D/CFA/11; Microfilms, Reel No. 63) and which contains entries beginning at 13 Dec. 1835. For a description of this Diary MS, of the other MSS from which the printed text of vols. 7 and 8 derives, and of CFA’s diary–keeping methods, see the Introduction; also vol. 1:xxxviii–xl; vol. 5:xxxii–xxxiii.


The journal entries for the period 12 June22 July, during which CFA and his wife traveled in New York State and Canada, were written, probably from notes, after their return to Boston, apparently as a daily stint over a number of weeks. See the entries for 23 July17 Aug., below.


On Rev. Convers Francis, see vol. 6:167.


Rev. Nathaniel Langdon Frothingham held the pulpit at the First Church in Boston. His wife, Ann, was a sister of Abigail Brooks Adams. See vol. 4:xiii–xiv.


At MQA is CFA’s copy of La Sainte Bible: revue sur les originaux, par David Martin, Paris, 1820.


John Walsh, attorney and tenant in the 23 Court Street building, appears frequently in vols. 5 and 6, above.


The practice of reading weekly a sermon of Isaac Barrow had begun on 7 Dec. 1834. On the Sermons, see vol. 3:243–244.


Gorham Brooks, brother of ABA, and his wife, Ellen Shepherd, currently lived in Baltimore but were in Boston for the summer. See vol. 6:384.